A revolution in genetics: next generation DNA sequencing

In the year 2000, human sequencing was achieved following 10 years of scientific work and now, thanks to next generation DNA sequencing, we are able to get to know a human genome in the space of just one week. It is still not possible, however, to access 100% of the genetic information contained within an embryo, the true origin of human life. But scientific progress is unstoppable and with this new technique a new range of promising options for genetics, for fertility and for life have opened up.
According to researchers, the possibilities which DNA sequencing offers are revolutionary and huge. Despite being at a very initial stage in which only the tip of the next generation sequencing iceberg has been uncovered, the number of uses is so varied that determining how to manage everything this technique implies will, in fact, be the future’s biggest challenge.
For the time being, thanks to human sequencing, nowadays “there is greater power of analysis and this facilitates many things and very significant possibilities”, explains the scientist and molecular biology and genetics investigator at Instituto Bernabeu, José Antonio Ortiz. The new technique, which can only be carried out in leading international clinics such as IB, “has revolutionised genetics. Genetic studies are now much quicker.’ […]

By |5 de February de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Reproductive biology|0 Comments

Instituto Bernabeu strengthens is position as a European reference in matters of R&D at the Annual Congress of the British Fertility Society.

The British Fertility Society (BSF) Annual Congress, one of Europe’s leading fertility and assisted reproduction events, was held on 7th and 8th January in Newcastle (UK). Its scientific committee accepted a total of 11 pieces of research work prepared by Instituto Bernabeu (Alicante) as part of the group’s main lines of R&D. These include poor ovarian response – a pathology which is largely associated with attempts to fall pregnant later on in life –  embryo implantation failure and the impact of genetics on reproduction issues. […]

Assisted Reproduction in women who do not have a male partner

In modern society, the increasing demand for assisted reproduction techniques from single women and same-sex couples has become a reality. From the perspective of reproduction, women only need to receive the male gamete (sperm). For years, these couples have solved the problem in ways that have not always been medically or legally safe and have had to face the possibility of infectious diseases and paternity suits.
Today, these inconveniencies are solved in assisted reproduction centres, where procedures that meet their demands and offer them a solid and safe foundation are regularly performed.
Thanks to Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART), Reproductive Medicine enables us to distinguish the fact of reproduction from the act of intercourse between two people. Several options for motherhood are offered to both single women and […]

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation and its social welfare calling

The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation, the social welfare foundation at Instituto Bernabeu, has been working towards helping to improve health, well-being and financial conditions in society since 2007. Support programmes for patients with financial difficulties, scholarships and long-term support for various NGOs and academic and medical institutions are just some examples of the work which is carried out “as part of our commitment to the people of Alicante.” To the company, “social responsibility is a must.”

The foundation was set up at almost the same time as Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. Whilst work went on in the reproduction and fertility clinic, the needs of the local population surrounding the medical group as it grew and became more consolidated became clear. It was the company’s closest reality, its closest community, the people who could potentially one day walk past one of the groups newest branches. IB began donating part of its financial resources and this increased as the institution grew. Along with the company’s growth and strength came the decision to provide this giving spirit, which had been active for many years, with a more formal structure. The Rafael Bernabeu Foundation was born in the cold month of January 2007 with the aim of providing different causes and adverse circumstances with warmth and solutions.

“Our patients and everyone in the IB team are participants in this support aimed at the very same society which has enabled us to grow and to which we wish to return the favour,” says the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation. Since it was set up, its work, donations and activities have grown and centred around three core areas: health, training and financial support for NGOs. […]

By |4 de January de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, Gynaecology, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS): More reliable and less damaging for embryos

The necessary information for an adequate development of human beings is contained in some “books” called genes; they are written in an “ink” called DNA. Our total number of genes is found in the 46 chromosomes that we inherit from our parents, and it should have no excesses or deficiencies, since these could cause serious diseases and malformations, and even put our life in danger.
Human embryos have a high rate of chromosomal alterations, especially in the case of couples with fertility problems, such as recurrent miscarriages and implantation failures. For this reason, when we are in the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) laboratory with a couple’s embryos, we already know it is very likely that many of them are chromosomally abnormal.
Only embryos with no excesses or deficiencies in their DNA have the capacity to produce a healthy newborn. Therefore, by identifying and selecting an embryo with a full chromosome count, we manage to guarantee that the embryo has maximum capacity to produce a healthy child. […]

Usefulness of Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) in Recurrent Miscarriages

When couples make the decision to have a baby, either by natural means or by resorting to assisted reproduction techniques (ART), one of their main concerns is having a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby. Miscarriage occurs in about 10-15% of pregnancies and is regarded as a “Recurrent miscarriage” when two or more pregnancies are lost spontaneously.

The cause of “Recurrent miscarriages” may be immunological, hormonal or uterine. Yet, the most common cause is no doubt chromosomal, since it is present in more than 50% of cases. […]

The option of avoiding serious illnesses in our children: a study on recessive disease carriers

Recessive diseases are hereditary diseases. They are not common but they are often serious and incurable. They have the peculiarity that a person may be a carrier but does have any health issues. It is for this reason that they are called ‘healthy carriers.’
This circumstance makes diagnosis particularly difficult since we can come across families in which there are entire generations without the disease or in which the disease has not previously come to light. As such, until recently, it was impossible or very difficult to know if a person was a carrier or not.
Most of us are healthy carries of some form of recessive disease and, on the whole, this is not an issue as long as our partner is not a carrier of the same disease, in which case there are implications for our children. […]

By |26 de November de 2015|Assisted reproduction, Fertility, Genetics, News, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Are PGD, PGS and CCS all one and the same?

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a combination of techniques carried out on embryos prior to transfer to the womb with the aim of studying possible chromosomal and/or genetic disorders. Its purpose is to ensure healthy offspring and stop disorders from being passed on to children.
The 21st century has witnessed huge steps being made in terms of embryo abnormality analysis. The range of diagnosis options and the reliability of techniques have converted something which was only a pipe-dream a few years ago into a reality. Nowadays, such techniques are routine and Instituto Bernabeu is a worldwide leader in providing its patients with the latest in embryo genetic diagnosis.
This revolution has led to a number of new testing techniques coming to the fore. Most of them are known by their initials and, in many cases, this has turned PGD into mumbo-gumbo for patients who end up getting them mixed up and confused. We would like to use this forum to shed some light on this sea of initials. […]

Genetics in premature ovarian failure and menopause

Oocytes are the female gametes, cells that, upon being fertilised by the sperm, will produce an embryo. In humans, the number of oocytes that females have throughout their lives is not unlimited; they are born instead with a limited number. These oocytes gradually run out in each menstruation until their supply becomes completely exhausted at menopause.
It is said that women suffer from premature ovarian failure when menstruation ceases because the oocyte supply has become exhausted at an earlier age than the age when the natural decline of ovarian function occurs (at 50, approximately). In cases where oocytes are still produced in women suffering from premature ovarian failure, they do not respond satisfactorily to the hormones responsible for their development and maturation.
Premature ovarian failure may have important consequences for women:

Obviously, in their fertility: These women cannot conceive naturally and require assisted reproduction techniques in order to bear offspring. These patients also have a high risk that their oocytes will not respond to the In Vitro Fertilisation cycle, thus putting the success of the treatment in danger.
On the other hand, the absence of female hormones due to low ovarian activity has serious consequences for health, mainly in cases of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

[…]

Instituto Bernabeu: totally committed to quality

Over 30 years’ experience in the field of reproductive medicine has led Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante to achieve leading European levels in quality and commitment. Its focus on providing patients with top care quality, its determination to exceed itself and its constant search for new challenges have led to Instituto Bernabeu receiving the most prestigious of international recognitions, a guarantee of the transparency and reliability of the group located in Alicante, Spain.
“This differentiates us from other centres since we offer continuity and because the certifications which we have cover all departments”, assures Elena García, head of Quality in Instituto Bernabeu. The quality certificates are renewed on an annual basis and, as such, all IB centres have to undergo a new audit every year. “During the financial crisis, many companies have become obsolete because they have not carried out new audits. We, on the other hand, undertook a quality commitment in 2006 and have a team which is specialised in human and technical resources and which is responsible for quality issues”, adds Elena. […]